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I don’t feel links to Twitter discussions have a place on this site.

If it’s an official announcement, there’s almost always a link to a site - this should be submitted instead.

If it’s a “story” that unfolds on Twitter, make the bare effort to “unroll it” using one of the many services available for this, or by authoring a post yourself with a summary, along with links to the relevant tweets.

Edit - two recent examples


This tweet has a screenshot, but no source attributing it to Disqus. The only link is to the author’s own blog.


This is a perfectly reasonable tweet in that it’s the author asking his Twitter circle for help, but it’s a terrible fit for Lobste.rs, where the community might be interested in content like a hypothetical blog post titled “less sucks for files larger than X GB. Here are a couple of alternatives”.


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    I agree with your sentiment but think it’s better to be self-policing rather than having explicit rules in this case. In the case of both of your examples, they are low-quality posts (basically just “some people’s short opinions”) that have been downvoted to below or equal to 0 points.

    Following your logic that we should submit “a link to the official announcement’s site,” it would be foolish to outright ban a domain considering there may be some twitter thread which functions as a primary source. You can see some examples of this by searching by the twitter domain on lobste.rs.

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      I agree with you that Twitter links are almost certainly not appropriate, but I don’t see much evidence that explicit filtering is required; both examples you linked are heavily downvoted (the first is barely positive and the second is negative). Comments on the story calling out a lack of content are also often effective in influencing voting.

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        What would such a filter or ban achieve over and above the community policing itself like it currently does?

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            If it’s an official announcement, there’s almost always a link to a site - this should be submitted instead.

            And if there isn’t? A simple search over domain:twitter.com, ordered by points, yielded:

            … among others. I feel that establishing a new rule that, if applied retroactively, would remove some reasonably popular stories, isn’t sound. Perhaps issuing a warning with what you stated in the 2nd and 3rd paragraph would be more than enough.

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              I propose that any action would only apply to future submissions, not existing ones.

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                Of course. I was merely making an argument based on the fact that there are old submissions that wouldn’t meet the new criteria which should be somehow dealt with (e.g. by suggesting that situation have changed and similar stories do no longer happen, or are not welcomed anymore; which I don’t think holds).

                I can see your point, but something like a message saying “Please reconsider linking a different source of this information” (+ what you said) could work better than a ban, don’t you think? In rare cases where Twitter is the only option, it would still allow to have it posted.

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                  This is a good point, and a good suggestion.

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              This seems like a bit of an extreme overreaction to two posts you don’t like. What of all the glorified twitter rants as blog posts that regularly get upvoted to the front page on here? Perhaps we should start banning blogs.

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                There are some things that make Twitter different -

                • low information density per post
                • inconsistent threading, and inconsistent linking to threads
                • Twitter threading is atrocious, making any sort of comment or discussion hard to follow.
                • Twitter URLs are harder to discover than an URL like my.blog.com/2019/04/a-rant, thus diluting the little information density there is
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                  How are Twitter URLs hard to discover? They function the same as on any other social media/microblogging website. You click on the date/time to navigate to the relevant URL or just right click it to get the URL immediately.

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                    Are tweets archived by something like the Internet Archive? I.e. is there a “backup” outside Twitter?

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                        I’m glad to hear that.

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                I appreciate the comments and feedback to this post.

                On reflection after reading these, I’ve concluded that a ban or filter is too crude a tool to address this issue. The normal method of flagging should suffice.

                Perhaps a new flag reason can be added, “low information” or similar.

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                  “Low information” this is silly. Not everything requires 10k words.

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                  What if Donald Trump gives an executive order about tech on Twitter? How would we link to primary source?

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                    I’m not following your country’s politics very closely; are the president’s executive orders now exclusively publicised via Twitter? Surely there’d be a better source with at least a press release. Lobste.rs isn’t about “primary” sources, it’s about informative sources.

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                      It was kind of a joke and pointing out how folks follow his Twitter comments to guess at what he might do. If it’s time-sensitive information, we might have to use a tweet if doing primary sources. If not primary, there will be a biased write-ups from various outlets that will quote some or all of it. The usual for politics.

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                        Yeah, I thought it might have been tongue in cheek, but I figured it’s worth making the point about sources anyway, for the benefit of this discussion of Twitter links in general.

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                    I submitted a link to a tweet of mine recently, that had content that was only available on Twitter.

                    The rationale is that Twitter is a convenient host for short videos with a small amount of related context.

                    If this rule went through, would you propose that I upload to an alternative video host just for the sake of submitting to Lobste.rs? Seems a bit arbitrary.

                    The submission in question: https://lobste.rs/s/hra8fb/react_style_components_written_ruby

                    Additionally, there are often interesting conversations between well known tech figures on Twitter. Should we not be able to link to these conversations?

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                      You are free to present your work in any form you like.

                      Personally, I’d enjoy a traditional web page that has actual code (whether inline or linked code) in addition to the video. Such a solution would make it easier to find using search engines in the future. In addition, your content would not be locked in Twitter’s silo.

                      You could also easily link to further discussions here or on any other venue from that page, instead of relying on Twitter’s confusing “answer” feature.

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                        You are free to present your work in any form you like.

                        I see what you’re saying, but don’t you agree that you’re proposing that I shouldn’t be free to present my work in any form I like?

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                          Only on this site.

                          Moderation is not censorship.